MESA Book Awards

Jessica M. Marglin

University of Southern California

2023 Albert Hourani Book Award Co-Winner

Jessica M. Marglin

Jessica M. Marglin

The Shamama Case: Contesting Citizenship Across the Modern Mediterranean

Princeton University Press

Jessica Marglin’s The Shamama Case is an outstanding microhistory. Grounding itself in a single case, it spins out an entire world, threading the needle through materials in Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Italian. And like the best microhistories, it takes on large questions; on trial are questions of belonging in a time of changing ideas of citizenship and nationality. Its sharp analysis and archival depth are only outmatched by its beautiful prose. It is a page-turner in every sense of the term: it teems with characters, plot twists, and tensions. It is truly a masterclass in the craft of writing history.

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